SSI Schaefer to expand its Malaysian factory operations
SSI Schaefer will expand its steel manufacturing production facility in Malaysia by almost 30%, amidst growing demand from the APAC and Middle East/Africa regions, the firm announced yesterday.
“With land and labour costs rising, we are seeing an increase in enquiries for high rise racking systems, shipping heavy steel profiles halfway around the world is obviously not cost effective, SSI Schaefer management has agreed that Asia should become a competence centre for the design and supply of these systems,” said Brian Miles, regional managing director for SSI Schaefer.
The recently signed building contract represents an investment of six million euros (US$7.85m) by the German firm at the Simpang Renggam site in Johor. “This investment was made after securing major automation projects in Australia, Indonesia and China,” said Mills. “We are seeing automation becoming a significant proportion of the company’s turn-over, and by 2014 it will represent close to 50% of the company’s return for APAC, Middle East / Africa.
Part of the outlay will include new German made rolling mills, similar to the machines operated at the firm’s parent facility in Betzdorf, which will roll all profiles that are used in AS/RS or Rack Clad Buildings, plus machinery for the preparation of special steelwork profiles. “We have now built over such 50 systems throughout APAC, in the pasted incorporating German made profiles with our own product, with this new machinery we can become 100% independent, which means we will be able to deliver these systems to the market faster and very price competitive,” said Mills.
Mills added that the expansion on the Johor site were the latest round of investments the company has made over the last three years. “In 2011, we built a 5,000m2 conveyor production hall to assemble our European range of conveyors locally. In 2012, we expanded our warehouse with a 2000m2 extension with three new loading docks, to meet increased exports, and now in 2013, we are adding another 5,000m2 for special steel work fabrication. This means that we now have 34,000m2 of production and warehousing at our Simpang Renggam site in Johor, with a staff of 350,” he said.